One of Canada's biggest food retailers says the pandemic is having a lasting impact on food consumption as consumers continue to spend more at grocery stores and cook at home rather than return to restaurants, as reported by the Canadian Press.
Michael Medline, president and CEO of Empire Co. Ltd. and its subsidiary Sobeys Inc., said the shift appears to be permanent.
"We are seeing a structural change in consumption of food at home," Medline said during a conference call with analysts on Thursday to discuss Empire's second-quarter results.
"Customers have seen and experienced the affordability and convenience of eating at home with their families," he said. "We believe there is permanence in this shift."
One of the most notable changes in grocery shopping habits is an ongoing elevated basket size, indicating that consumers are buying more food with each shop.
"We're seeing basket sizes remain at elevated levels," Medline said, adding that in conjunction with the grocer's other data on shopping habits there is evidence of a "permanent shift."
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